A few months ago, Carla Marinucci told me that she thinks the current election has more drama and excitement than any she's ever covered, and I don't think she's alone. Barely a day goes by without something happening that can snag your attention: bizarre, bald-faced, nasty, funny, shrewd, unexpected, irritating, suspenseful or just plain encouraging, the bane of cynics everywhere.
Today the winner seems to be Bill Clinton leaking to friends who leaked to the New York City Times that he thinks his wife should be veep on the Obama ticket.
Whoa! Slow those presses. Better yet, rewind. Here's the quote: "The reports about Mr. Clinton's musings, which came from friends..." So let's get this straight. Bill whispered to someone who whispered to someone else who put it on the front page of the paper. All very national security/unnamed sources fearing for their lives/hush-hush kind of news. I mean, you expect Bill to peddle his wife for the number two spot. That's just politically logical. But to play it as a revealing and exclusive back room peek seems weirdly and incestuously silly.
Maybe it's just me.
The Times, like the rest of us in newspapers, has struggled with the anonymous source question. Witness this quote about a very weighty issue - the maybe sale of Michael Jackson's peek-a-boo ranch: "A close associate of Mr. Jackson's, who requested anonymity because of the difficult nature of the matter, said it was not clear whether Mr. Jackson would keep Neverland." OK, better stay anonymous when you say things aren't clear; that's really committing. And Mike can pay to stay open or he can't, so how "difficult" is that?
Back to Bill and today's story. What's fun is watching the old Clinton hubris peeking up from under the cover of all that anonymous sourcing instead of out there, red-faced and in people's personal space the way he's otherwise been in this campaign. Plus it was a kind of trifecta: Hillary looked like her husband was manipulating her future whether she liked it or not; Bill looked like he just wanted back in to Pennsylvania Avenue because he deserved it; and the New York City Times simply takes what's offered them like a nursing baby.
Causes Phil Bronstein Supports
Good Ones; anything involving the possibility of redemption.